Synopses & Reviews
"Elena Ferrante will blow you away."-Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
From the author of The Days of Abandonment, The Lost Daughter is Elena Ferrante's most compelling and perceptive meditation on womanhood and motherhood yet. Leda, a middle-aged divorce, is alone for the first time in years when her daughters leave home to live with their father. Her initial, unexpected sense of liberty turns to ferocious introspection following a seemingly trivial occurrence. Ferrante's language is as finely tuned and intense as ever, and she treats her theme with a fierce, candid tenacity.
"The arresting third novel from pseudonymous Italian novelist Ferrante (Troubling Love) pursues a divorced, 47-year-old academic's deeply conflicted feelings about motherhood to their frightening core. While on vacation by herself on the Ionian coast, Leda feels contentedly disburdened of her two 20-something daughters, who have moved to their father's city of Toronto. She's soon engrossed in watching the daily drama of Nina, a young mother, with her young daughter, Elena (along with Elena's doll, Nani), at the seashore. Surrounded by proprietary Neapolitan relatives and absorbed in her daughter's care, Nina at first strikes Leda as the perfect mother, reminding herself of when she was a new and hopeful parent. Leda's eventual acquaintance with Nina yields a disturbing confession and sets in motion a series of events that threatens to wreck, or save, the integrity of Nina's family. Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Praise for Elena Ferrante and The Neapolitan Novels
“Everyone should read anything with Ferrantes name on it.” —The Boston Globe
“Ferrantes novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.” —James Wood, The New Yorker
“One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory.” —Megan OGrady, Vogue
“Amazing! My Brilliant Friend took my breath away. If I were president of the world I would make everyone read this book. It is so honest and right and opens up heart to so much. Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you cant look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didnt know books could do this!” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge
“Elena Ferrante will blow you away.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
“Ferrantes emotional and carnal candor are so potent." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“I like the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, a lot. I've been reading all her work and all about her.” — John Waters, actor and director
“"Elena Ferrante tackles girlhood and friendship with amazing force.”— Gwenyth Paltrow
“Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist youve never heard of”— The Economist
“[Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels] dont merely offer a teeming vision of working-class Naples, with its cobblers and professors, communists and mobbed-up businessmen, womanizing poets and downtrodden wives; they present one of modern fictions richest portraits of a friendship.” —John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR
“Ferrantes freshness has nothing to do with fashion…it is imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Elena Ferrantes THE STORY OF A NEW NAME, book two in her Naples series. Two words. Read it.” —Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer
“Ferrante writes with a ferocious, intimate urgency.” —Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death: A Memoir
“The Days of Abandonment is a powerful, heartrending novel.” —Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowlands
“I am such a fan of Ferrantes work, and have been for quite a while.” —Jennifer Gilmore, author of The Mothers
“No one has a voice quite like Ferrante's. Her gritty, ruthlessly frank novels roar off the page with a barbed fury, like an attack that is also a defense…Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you'll have some idea of how explosive these works are.” —John Freeman, The Australian
“The womens fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of the poignant book” — Publishers Weekly
"An engrossing, wildly original contemporary epic about the demonic power of human (and particularly female) creativity checked by the forces of history and society." — The Los Angeles Review of Books
From the author of My Brilliant Friend
Leda is a middle-aged divorcee devoted to her work as an English teacher and to her two children. When her daughters leave home to be with their father in Canada, Leda anticipates a period of loneliness and longing. Instead, slightly embarassed by the sensation, she feels liberated, as if her life has become lighter, easier. She decides to take a holiday by the sea, in a small coastal town in southern Italy. But after a few days of calm and quiet, things begin to take a menacing turn. Leda encounters a family whose brash presence proves unsettling, at times even threatening. When a small, seemingly meaningless, event occurs, Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult and unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The apparently serene tale of a woman's pleasant rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with an unsettled past.
Following the extraordinary success of The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante's standalone novel The Lost Duaghter candidly explores the conflicting emotions that tie us to our children.
The author of "The Days of Abandonment" pens her most compelling and perceptive meditation on womanhood and motherhood yet.
About the Author
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the bestselling author of The Days of Abandonment, which the New York Times described as “stunning,” Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. Her latest novel and the first in a trilogy, My Brilliant Friend, will be available from Europa Editions on September 25, 2012.